If you want to become an au pair in a different country, the first thing you have to do is finding a host family. There are different ways of getting in touch with host-families.
What is a host-family?
Host families have at least one child under the age of sixteen and are looking for an au pair for a certain amount of time. During your time with your host family, you become a part of their family. You take care of their child(ren), have dinner with them and hang out with them.
But how do you find that one host-family that is perfect for you?
One way of finding a host-family is by signing up with an agency. The agency takes care of everything. They go through your profile and match you to a family in the country you want to visit. One significant advantage of agencies is that you always have someone to call if the family is mistreating you. The agency can give the family a warning, and they can find you a different place to live if things still don’t improve.
If you want to go to America, you will have to organise your stay with the help of one of fifteen approved agencies. However, you do not have to sign up with an agency if you live and want to stay in Europe.
Do it yourself
You can always go online and find a family by yourself. There are a lot of websites where you can sign up, such as:
I found my host family through aupairworld.com. It took me less than two weeks to find a family I liked. Like my host-mum says; it’s kind of like Tinder. You look at the pictures (and maybe the descriptions) of families, pick the ones you think look like normal people and keep your fingers crossed that they will like you as well.
After talking to your host-family via email, you should also chat with them on Skype. This makes it easier to see whether or not you will fit in with that family. Always talk to several different families so that you know exactly who you are choosing and why.
Make sure you sign a contract, whether you find a family through an agency or you do it yourself. If you have signed a contract, you have something to refer to in case things go horribly wrong. Your contract should contain the following things:
- How many hours a week you have to work
- What days you don’t have to work
- What chores you have to do
- How much pocket money you will receive
Hope that was helpful. Next week’s post will be about how to create an amazing profile to find the host-family of your dreams!